When Trump’s helicopter buzzed over Beauregard, Alabama, all he could see was one trailer still standing. Everything around the trailer, for 24 miles, had been crushed by a deadly storm. Someone took a picture, and Trump tweeted it out.
That trailer is where my friend David Kelley lives. 23 of his neighbors died, including one right next door. Even though David is on oxygen, he rushed to try and save his friend, who was crushed by a tree. That tells you a lot about him, and about the spirit of rural America.
You’d think President Trump would want to meet a real-life hero like David, right? Especially after sending out that Tweet? Think again.
“That orange bastard didn’t even come down our street,” David told me, as I helped him and others in Beauregard put their lives back together.
It’s been two weeks since David and his neighbors lost everything. CLICK NOW to help Alabama storm survivors recover with the help of Hometown Action.
My name is Warren Alan Tidwell, and I’m a member of Hometown Action, part of the People’s Action network. I’ve helped rural communities recover from natural disasters for twenty years.
I came to Beauregard right after the storm. Hometown Action is one of only three nonprofits allowed in to Lee County to help residents recover.
When Trump came to town, he signed Bibles and MAGA hats for a few minutes, then buzzed off. But Hometown Action is here for the long haul.
When I asked David how he felt about Trump’s visit, he looked around, then said, “I don’t mean to offend you, but I can’t stand that guy.” When I told him I felt the same way, he laughed, and opened up about how he and his neighbors really feel.
The best of humanity comes out after disasters. Everybody comes together, because we’re all human beings — and that’s all that matters in the aftermath of a storm.
If we could find a way to bottle that spirit, it would solve all of our problems. When disasters strike rural communities, there’s an opportunity to go in and learn about them, learn from them, and understand them.
There’s a growing movement in rural America of people who want change, and Hometown Actionis a part of that. In disaster recovery, we have an opportunity to bring people together, sow seeds of kindness, and start enacting real change.